The needs and activities of escalating numbers of humans are changing natural ecosystems at rapid rates. Millions of species live and carry out vital functions in the biosphere and are essential to society. Yet, the importance of most species of animals and plants -- the small organisms that make up more than 95% of all species -- is being overlooked. Because the organisms are small, the benefits to agriculture and forestry of these less-conspicuous organisms, such as arthropods and fungi, are often not recognized.
The evidence suggests that more biological diversity exists in the agricultural/forestry and other human-managed ecosystems because human-managed ecosystems cover a pproximately 95% of the terrestrial environment, whereas protected parks cover only 3.2% of this environment. Biological diversity in agricultural/forestry systems can be best conserved by:
Maintaining this biological diversity is essential for productive agriculture and forestry, and ecologically sustainable agriculture and forestry are essential for maintaining biological diversity.
Recommended policies to enhance the conservation of biological diversity:
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